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Dbrand is suing Casetify for ripping off its Teardown designs

Dbrand is suing Casetify for ripping off its Teardown designs

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Dbrand claims it caught Casetify using its transparent-style designs in its own line of device cases.

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An image comparing Dbrand’s Teardown designs to Casetify’s Inside Out products.
Image: Dbrand

Dbrand, the device skin company known for trolling brands like Sony and Nintendo, is waging a legal battle of its own. The company is suing rival Casetify over claims it blatantly copied Dbrand’s Teardown device skins and cases, which are made to look like the internals of whatever phone, tablet, or laptop you’ve purchased them for. (It’s also introducing some new X-Ray skins on the same day it’s revealing the lawsuit.)

Dbrand first revealed its Teardown products in 2019 in partnership with JerryRigEverything (Zack Nelson), a YouTuber who breaks down new devices and sometimes even gives them transparent mods. The Teardown skins and cases make it look as if you’ve taken your entire device apart and slapped on a transparent backing — when in reality, it’s just a vinyl decal or a case you slot your phone into.

Dbrand’s initial MacBook Pro 16 device scan (left) versus the edited Teardown design (right).
Image: Dbrand and Image: Dbrand

Even though it’s pretty easy to stick a decal on the back of your phone, a lot of work still goes into making the designs. Dbrand has to carefully disassemble the devices it wants to make a Teardown design for, whether it’s an iPhone 15, iPhone 14, Google Pixel 8, MacBook Pro, or a Galaxy Z Flip 5. It then scans their internals using a commercial-grade machine and puts the image into editing software. There, it makes numerous tweaks, such as removing screws, ribbon cables, and wires, as well as shifting some of the components around to ensure the design fits on the back of the phone, laptop, or tablet before making the prints.

Casetify allegedly took all of this work to use on its own phone cases. Within 24 hours of Dbrand’s lawsuit going public, Casetify pulled the offending case lineup from sale on its website while insisting it’s “always been a bastion of originality.”

It all started when Casetify launched a similar line of phone cases, called Inside Parts, which similarly puts an image of the components inside your phone on the outside. However, users noticed something wasn’t quite right with the designs. In March, one user on X (formerly Twitter) pointed out that Casetify appeared to be reusing the image of the same internals across different phone models, which means they didn’t accurately represent the insides of each device they were sold for.

Video: Dbrand

Dbrand called out Casetify’s apparent gaffe in a video posted to X, which shows how Casetify seemed to have recycled the same design across Apple, Samsung, and Google devices, with a mocking caption reading “iNsiDe PaRtS.” Just months after Dbrand posted its response to Casetify, the company came back with a new line of transparent-style phone cases called Inside Out.

This time, the images are consistent with the devices the cases are made for — and Dbrand claims that’s because Casetify stole its designs. However, Dbrand alleges Casetify also attempted to conceal the copycats by rearranging parts of the designs to make them look slightly different. (You can see an example of this in the video embedded above.)

There’s some pretty strong evidence backing up Dbrand’s accusations, too. Dbrand spotted the many Easter eggs it planted within its own designs on Casetify’s Inside Out products. That includes the “R0807” tag, which alludes to Dbrand’s tagline as a brand run by robots, as well as the JerryRigEverything catchphrase “glass is glass and glass breaks.”

Image: Dbrand

After scrutinizing the images of the cases on Casetify’s website — and even ordering some to confirm its suspicions — Dbrand discovered Casetify allegedly copied 117 different designs, down to the many digital manipulations it made to the images. Dbrand says it holds registered copyrights for each of these products, all of which were registered before Casetify’s product launch.

“If CASETiFY had simply created their own Teardown-esque design from scratch, we wouldn’t have anything to take issue with,” Dbrand CEO Adam Ijaz tells The Verge. “We are under no illusion that dbrand owns the idea of taking apart phones and scanning them. The fact of the matter is that they repurposed our existing designs for their products, then went to great lengths to conceal their illegitimate appropriation of our work.”

That’s why, instead of issuing a cease-and-desist order, Dbrand is hitting Casetify with a federal lawsuit in Canadian courts, where the company is based, and seeking eight figures in damages. It didn’t give Casetify any warning, either — which ended up pulling the cases in question from the Casetify website sometime within 24 hours of the lawsuit going public. You can still see an archived version courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

“We are currently investigating a copyright allegation against us,” Caseify says in a statement on X. “We have immediately removed all the designs in question from all platforms.” The company also says it’s looking into a DDOS attack that “disrupted” its website “when the allegation surfaced.”

Dbrand is also launching a brand-new set of X-ray skins across its entire portfolio today that are rather different from the Teardown ones — they’re black and white, captured at 50 micron resolution by a lab called Haven Metrology, and show details that wouldn’t be visible simply by removing the back cover of a phone, laptop, or gaming handheld.

While Ijaz tells us he doesn’t want anyone to think the lawsuit is a cash grab, the timing of the new skins doesn’t seem to be a coincidence; JerryRigEverything’s video about the lawsuit prominently features the new X-Ray skins, and Nelson suggests twice that fans can buy one to support legal efforts against CASETiFY.

Disclosure: The Verge recently collaborated with Dbrand on a series of skins and cases.

Update November 24th, 6:30AM ET: Updated text to note that Casetify has removed the accused cases from its website.

Update November 24th, 9:41AM ET: Added statement from Casetify.